Debra Eschmeyer / Colleen Matts
FoodCorps Recruiting First Class of Service Members
C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University Seeking Ten FoodCorps Members
NEW YORK CITY – (February 10, 2011) — Earlier this week, FoodCorps, a brand new and much anticipated national service program, opened applications for its first class of service members. Those selected will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems – sourcing healthful local food for school cafeterias, expanding nutrition education programs, and building and tending school gardens.
FoodCorps is a scalable solution to the national obesity epidemic. Since 1980, the percentage of American children who are overweight or obese has doubled. With one in four U.S. children struggling with hunger and one in three obese or overweight, FoodCorps addresses a major cause of both: access to healthy food.
“We’re on the lookout for hard-working young leaders who believe healthy food should be available to every child,” said Executive Director Curt Ellis. “Being part of FoodCorps is a chance to make that vision a reality for kids in this country—and to have fun in the process.”
FoodCorps seeks up to 80 young men and women with a passion for serving their country by building healthy communities. Beginning in August 2011, service members will get their hands dirty in one of 10 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina or Oregon.
Ten FoodCorps members will be placed in Michigan. “These service members will jumpstart shovel-ready farm to school, school garden and nutrition education projects at K-12 schools, and benefit from meaningful food systems work experience with vulnerable children in communities that are struggling economically,” said Colleen Matts of the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University.
“We’ve heard from young people around the country interested in developing knowledge and skills in farming, food systems and public health,” said Cecily Upton, FoodCorps Program Director for Sites and Service. “FoodCorps will connect these young leaders with hands-on experience and the opportunity to change our food system for the better.”
Applications and more information can be found at www.foodcorps.org. The FoodCorps recruitment video, created by Peabody-winning filmmaker Ian Cheney (King Corn) can be viewed and embedded from the site as well.
The C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University engages communities in applied research and outreach to promote sustainable food systems with a goal to improve the access and availability of locally-produced food. www.mottgroup.msu.edu
FoodCorps is a new national service organization that seeks to reverse childhood obesity by increasing vulnerable children’s knowledge of, engagement with, and access to healthy food. Service members build and tend school gardens, conduct nutrition education, and facilitate Farm to School programming that brings healthy, affordable local food into public schools. The program also trains a cadre of leaders for careers in food and agriculture. FoodCorps was developed with funding from AmeriCorps and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in partnership with Occidental College, the National Farm to School Network, Slow Food USA, The National Center for Appropriate Technology and Wicked Delicate, as part of an open planning process that engaged thousands of stakeholders from around the country. www.foodcorps.org